Thursday, October 30, 2014

Now's the Time: The Harlem Quartet

"Take the 'A' Train" is the rare jazz warhorse that manages to remain fresh no matter how often it's performed.  The Harlem Quartet's string version is entirely charming.  The ensemble is paired with Imani Winds at Yardley Hall on Saturday, November 1.  The second half the program features a new composition titled "Passion for Bach and Coltrane."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The Pitch heralds the new version of Take Five Coffee + Bar.

*KC Jazz Lark reviewed albums by Diverse, the Project H and Shades of Jade.

*Pat Metheny won the Guitar category and the The Pat Metheny Unity Group took the honors in the Jazz Group and Jazz Album categories of the 2014 DownBeat Readers Poll.

*The Kansas City Star previewed a concert featuring Imani Winds and the Harlem Quartet.

*KCPT aired a nice feature on Brad Cox and Jennifer Owen.  (It starts at the 8:30 mark.)

*Joe Klopus previews Miguel Zenón's return to the Blue Room.

*Chris Burnett considers the concept of balance.

*Jack Wilkins is among Joe Dimino's latest interview subjects for Neon Jazz.

*Tweet o' the Week: Next On TCM- The jazz band's leader gets mixed up with gangster in '20s Kansas City. [Off topic: Go Royals!] #TCM

*From the KU School of Music: The University of Kansas Jazz Ensemble I will collaborate with the Kansas City-based group The Sons of Brasil for a special performance at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2014, at Lawrence Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students… For this extraordinary concert event, KU faculty, current and former student composers have written new arrangements of selections from The Sons of Brasil’s catalog to include a big band…

*From Take Five Coffee + Bar: Here it is, the weekend we've been working toward for months, when we all get to find out together just how much musical energy the new Take Five Coffee + Bar can generate. We have three high-energy jazz performances, a showcase of the kind of fun you'll find nowhere else on the planet. This weekend is our statement, our offering, and our best explanation of why we love Kansas City and its jazz community most of all… Friday, November 31, 8pm: Parallax Costume Party. $5 cover… Saturday, November 1, 8 pm: The People's Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City. No cover. Inaugural Jazz Brunch, Sunday, November 2, 10am - 2pm: Jazz Brunch with the Mark Lowrey Trio. No cover for brunches.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Take Two of Take Five

An inconspicuous sign in an inviting cranny of the new location of Take Five Coffee + Bar provides welcome news for Kansas City's jazz scene.  The government-mandated plaque reads "maximum occupancy 189."

About 50 people heard pianist Roger Wilder, bassist Bob Bowman and drummer Brian Steever support New York-based saxophonists Roger Rosenberg and Rob Scheps during the first set of the official opening night of Take Five's spacious new location on Friday, October 24.  That number would have filled the previous locale.

"It feels like the old place gave birth to triplets," Scheps joked.

There's lots to love about the revamped Take Five.  The sound on Friday- especially the depth and richness of Bowman's bass- was superb.  The relaxed atmosphere of the old venue also survived the move. 

By doubling down on their daring investment in the area's jazz scene, proprietors Doug and Lori Chandler, Plastic Sax's People of the Year in 2012, continue to improve the quality of life of the area's jazz aficionados. 

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Now's the Time: Bucky Pizzarelli

Octogenarian guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and his musical partner Ed Laub will perform Sunday, October 26, at the Topeka Jazz Workshop and on Monday, October 27, at Broadway Jazz Club.  The latter show is a taping of 12th Street Jump.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The Kansas City Star elicits comments from Hermon Mehari about his participation in the upcoming Thelonious Monk competition.

*KC Jazz Lark documents the 18th & Vine Jazz & Blues Festival.  A 17-minute video captures many of the event's sights and sounds.

*The Pitch recommends a show at Take Five Coffee + Bar featuring Gerald Spaits' band.

*A major ticketing site posted an interview with Eddie Moore.

*Tweet o' the Week: ReallyRylie- Sitting in Music Appreciation of Jazz wanting to cry of boredom. Remember this: The Royals are in the World Series.

*From Broadway Jazz Club: 12th Street Jump, the public radio syndicated Jazz and Comedy program, will be recording their broadcast honoring the music of Bucky Pizzarelli with special guests Bucky Pizzarelli and Ed Laub!! After the live recording stay for Eboni Fondren and Two Guitars (Matt Hopper & Charlie Gatschet), who will play from 9pm-11pm... Ticket prices range from $15 - $25.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Horace Washington

Horace Washington died last week.  His friendly stage presence and penchant for danceable soul-jazz made him one of Kansas City's most popular musicians in the 1980s.  I last heard him with the Elder Statesmen of Kansas City Jazz at the Blue Room during the 18th & Vine Jazz & Blues Festival on October 11.  As a review in The Kansas City Star noted, he led the band in a lively rendition of Herbie Mann's "Memphis Underground."  Washington was last featured at Plastic Sax in 2011.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Now's the Time: Phillip Johnston

Phillip Johnston, the founder of the Microscopic Septet, will perform at Helzberg Hall on Sunday, Oct. 19.  Wordless!, a collaboration with graphic novelist Art Spiegelman, is a "multimedia presentation with new original music."